Sartell capitalized and then punctuated a Central Lakes Conference victory Thursday night.
The 2-2 Sarbres punched in a penalty kick and a free kick and then scored another goal on a breakaway to defeat the Brainerd Warriors 3-0 in Baxter.
The Sabres’ Zachary Jacobson scored the game’s first goal at 29:08 on a penalty kick near the penalty area. The junior went low right to beat Brainerd’s Joseph Anderholm.
In the second period, Carter Kasianov earned a free kick. His shot sailed over Brainerd’s human wall and just under the cross bar for a 2-0 advantage at 56:15.
“Collectively, I think we played pretty well defensively,” said Warriors head coach Tony Smith. “If we can stop making the silly errors and giving up free kicks and those easy scoring chances — too many times already this year we’ve shot ourselves in the foot with allowing easy goals. I think when we can start realizing that and just clean up some of the other things, we can do better.”
After falling behind 2-0, Brainerd attempted to put more pressure on the offensive end and the result was a Sabre breakaway going the other way. Adam Flemming and Jared Forst broke free of the Warrior defense and while Anderholm stymied the initial attack, the two Sartell players corralled the rebound and Flemming put the ball away for the final score.
“I thought we responded in the second half more,” said Smith. “I thought they possessed the ball a little too much in the first half. I was glad to see we settled down. I felt like we were creating more chances, but when you do that you kind of expose yourself in the back a little bit. With a team as talented as Sartell, it doesn’t take a lot to capitalize on your mistakes. We need to clean up a few things.”
Brainerd was outshot 7-5 and suffered its second straight shutout. Unlike Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Alexandria, however, Smith didn’t see the same intensity he was hoping for.
“I was anxious to see us carry over that good play against Alexandria and of course I didn’t see the same team,” Smith said. “I felt at the beginning of the year our offense was going well. We scored at Elk River and Buffalo, but these last few games we’ve been shutout. I kind of feel like we’re going backwards in the scoring.”
Brainerd’s best scoring chance came at 53:40 on a free kick near the penalty area, but Sartell’s Skyler Gardner cleaned it up for one of his five saves.
Sartell 1 2 — 3
Brainerd 0 0 — 0
First half: Sar-Zachary Jacobson PK 29:08
Second half: Sar-Carter Kasianov FK 56:15; Sar-Adam Flemming (Jared Forst) 58:57
Shots on goal: Brd 5, Sar 7
Goalkeepers: Brd-Joseph Anderholm (4 saves); Sar-Skyler Gardner (5 saves)